Page images

parts; another, that which accelles ; and a third, that which remains. Take an example or two from man. The healthful de parts; the morbid accedes; the body remains. The morbid departs; the healthful accedes; the body remains. It is thus we change reciprocally as well to better as to worse.

It may be observed of these three principles, that two of them, being contraries, maintain a perpetual warfare;

Haud bene conveniunt, nec in una sede morantur: the third, like a neutral power, preserves an intercourse with both, and sometimes associates with one, and sometimes with the other. It


be observed also of the two hostile or contrary principles, that one of them appertains, for the most part, to the better co-arrangement of things, and one to the baser :

ÚROTIDévai to Tpítov : “ If any one, there- guage of Ecclesiasticus, chap. xxxiii. 14, 15. fore, think the former reasoning, and the and xlii. 24. present reasoning, to be each of them true; See (besides the quotations mentioned it is necessary, in order to preserve both of already) Ethic. Nicom. 1. i. c. 6. p. 15. edit. them entire and unimpeached, to lay down Oxon. 1716 ; and Eustratii Com. in Ethic. and establish some third principle." Nic. p. 13. B.

He soon after adds: Το μεν ούν τρία To the quotations given above may be φάναι τα στοιχεία είναι, έκ τε τούτων και πlded the following one from Varro. εκ τοιούτων άλλων επισκοπούσι δόξειεν αν Pythagoras Samius ait omnium rerum é xelv tivà nóyov: “To say, therefore, that initia esse Bina: ut finitum et infinitum, the clements (or principles of things) are bonum et malum, vitam et mortem, diem et three, may appear to have some foundation noctem ; quare item duo, status et motus. to those who speculate from these and other Quod stat aut agitur, corpus : ubi agitatur reasonings of like sort." Arist. Phys. 1. i. locus: dum agitatur, tempus: quod est in c. 6. p. 16, 17. edit. Sylb.

agitatu, actio. Quadripartitio magis sic eluAnd again more explicitly in his Meta- cebit: corpus est, ut cursor: locus, stadium physics: Tpla on "altia, kai apeis ai qua currit: tempus, hora qua currit: actio, åpxai: dúo per ý dvavtíwois (as to uèy cursio. Quare fit, ut omnia fere sint quaλόγος και είδος, το δε στέρησις») το δε dripartita, et ea eterna ; quod neque unTpítový űan : “Wherefore the causes of quam tempus, quin fuerit motus (ejus enim things are three, and the principles are intervallum tempus ;) neque motus, abi non three ; two, the contrariety, (of which con- locus et corpus ; (quod alterum est, quod trariety one part is the definition and form ; movetur ; alterum, ubi ;) neque, ubi sit the other part, the privation ;) and the agitatus, non actio ibi.” Igitur initiorum third principle, the matter.” Metaph. A. quadrigæ, locus et corpus, tempus et actio. p. 197. edit. Sylb.

Pythagoras, the Samian, says, that the “Co-arrangement.”—So I here ventured principles of all things are two and two, to translate the word συστοιχία, or συστοι- or double : as, for example, finite and inxela, for it is written both ways in Ari- finite, good and evil, life and death, day stotle. See Metaph. 1. i. c. 5. p. 13; 1. iii. and night; and by the same rule

, rest and c. 2. p. 52. edit. Sylb.

motion. [In these last] that which rests The Pythagoreans, observing through or is agitated is body; the where it is agi the world a difference in things as to better tated, is place; the whilst it is agitated, is and worse, and that this difference often led time; and in the agitation itself we view to a sort of contrariety or opposition, ar- the action. ranged them into two classes, a better class This fourfold division will better appear and a worse; and, placing the two classes as follows: Call body, the person who runs ; by the side of each other, called them call place, the course over which he runs ; Quotoixiat, or “co-arrangements.” In the call time, the hour during which he runs ; better class they put unity, bound, friends and let the race, or running, be called the ship, good, &c. ; in the other they put mul- action. titude, boundless, strife, evil, &c. Some of Now it happens, that almost all things this school limited the number, others left are in this manner fourfold, and this fourit indefinite, considering all things as double, fold division is as it were cternal. The one against another, according to the lan- reason is, there never was time, but there

[ocr errors]

to the better appertains figure; to the baser, deformity: to the better, order; to the baser, confusion : to the better, health ; to the baser, disease. Now if we call those of the better tribe by the common name of form, and those of the other tribe by the common name of privation," distinguishing the neutral principle withal by the name of subject, we shall then find the three principles of mutation, or change, to be form, privation, and a subject.

Of these three, if we compare form to privation, we shall find form to be definite and simple; privation to be infinite and vague. Thus there are infinite ways of being diseased, though but one of being healthy; infinite ways of being vicious, though but one of being virtuous."

Should it be asked, how privation is one, having this infinite and vague character; we may answer, because as privation, it is nothing more than the simple absence of that form to which it is opposed. Thus to be diseased, (though the ways are infinite,) is nothing more than the absence of health ; to be vicious, (though the ways are infinite,) nothing more than the absence of virtue.

And hence, perhaps, it may be possible to reject privation for a principle, and supply its place, when wanted, by its opposite, that is to say, form; not however by the specific form then actually tending to existence, but by every other congenial form, of which this specific form is the privation. Thus in the producing of the sphere, its privation may be found in the presence of the pyramid, or of any figure, besides the sphere, whether regular or irregular. Thus in the producing of that harmony called the diapason, its privation may be found in the presence of the diapente, or of any other tensions, besides those of the octave, be they consonant or dissonant. It is certain that by such a reciprocal acceding and receding of all possible forms, by such an absence and presence, by such a continued revolution must have been motion, (of which time, in- contraries is privation.” Aristot. Metaph. deed, is but the interval ;) nor motion, but l. iii. c. 2. p. 52. edit. Sylb. where there must have been place and By the word other, he means the baser body; (one of which is the thing moved ; and subordinate class, to which class he the other, that where it is moved ;) nor gives the common name of privation, as inagitation, but where there must have been cluding all the genera therein enumerated, action.

strife, evil, &c. And hence it is, that priAnd hence it follows, that place and vation is in this treatise soon after called body, time and action, form, as it were, a infinite and vague; for to telpov, “ infijoint quaternion of principles. Varr. de nite," made one in this baser arrangement. Ling. Lat. I. iv. p. 7. edit. Amstel.

See Blemmidæ Epitom. Physic. p. 60. We have given this passage at length, Philop. in Arist. Phys. 1. i. sub. fin. not only as it explains co-arrangement, but Η Εσθλοι μεν γαρ απλώς, παντοδαπώς as it exhibits to us four of those predica- dè kakoi. Theognis. ments, or arrangements, which make parts ο Ικανόν γάρ έσται το έτερον των ενανof this treatise, viz. substance, when, where, Tiwv TOLEîv th dovolą, kaì napovolą The uction.

Metaboa hv: “One of the two contraries η Των εναντίων ή ετέρα συστοιχία, (that is to say, form) will be sufficiently στέρησις: : “ The other co-arrangement of able, by its absence and its presence, to effect mutation.” Aristot. Phys. 1. i. c. 7. Philoponns gives a pertinent instance to p. 20. edit. Sylb.

and periodical succession, supposing a proper subject witbal to receive and give them up, we may conceive how changes may be performed, and new substances produced, though (as we have said already) the principle of privation were to be withdrawn. No harm accrues to the doctrine from a supposition like this; only, if we admit it, we again reduce the principles from three to two; not however the former two, those that exist in contrariety, for now we adopt the more amicable ones, those of a form and a subject, or (if we take matter in its proper meaning) those of form and matter.

It is in these we behold the elements of those composite beings, natural substances. The disquisition makes it expedient to consider each of the two apart, and this we shall therefore do by beginning with matter.

explain how privation may be form. He On this passage, Themistius thus com- tells us, “Η γάρ Λύδιος αρμονία γίγνεται εκ ments. Having inserted the words above της αναρμoστίας της Λυδίου. αλλ' ή Λύδιος quoted, he subjoins-ώστε το είδος την αναρμoστία δύναται είναι φρύγιος αρμονία, χώραν αποπληροί και της στερήσεως ή και ετέρα τις δύναται δε και απλώς αναργάρ στέρησις ου φύσις τις και είδος εστίν, μoστία είναι των χορδών οπωσούν έχουσών, αλλ' απουσία του είδους: “ So that the form και τούτο ποικίλως άλλοτε άλλως επιτεταsupplies also the place of the privation ; for mévwv pôrov, 1 avevévwv : “The Lydian the privation is itself no particular nature mode or harmony is made out of Lydian or form, but rather the absence of the form” dissonance, (that is, before the strings of a (which is then passing into existence.] lyre were tuned to that mode, they were Themist. in Arist. Phys. p. 21. B. edit. Ald. tuned after another manner, which manner

Simplicius on this occasion explains him- he calls properly, Lydian dissonance.) Now self as follows: Ου μέντοι ήξίωσεν εν τοις Lydian dissonance may be the Phrygian στοιχείοις θείναι την στέρησιν και το κατ' mode or harmony, or it may be any other avrhy uits ov, dióti årovola móvov dot! Toll of the modes, (Doric, Ionic, &c. :] it may πεφυκότος, ουδέν άλλο έαυτή συνεισάγουσα: also be simply the dissonance of the strings ήρκέσθη δε τώ είδει μόνο και αυτός, τη παρ- under any casual tension, and that in ουσία τη εαυτού και της απουσία δυναμένω various and diferent ways, either as they την γένεσιν και την φθοράν αποδιδόναι : are more stretched, or more relaxed," (that "Aristotle has not deigned to place among the is, either sharper or flatter.] Philop. in elements of natural productions) privationPhysic. 1. i. p. 45. and that mode of non-being which is con- This shews that the Phrygian mode in sonant to it; because privation is no more this example, though clearly a form of harthan the absence of the thing produced, mony, is nevertheless, when referred to the introducing along with itself no other par- Lydian mode, as much a privation as any ticular attribute. He himself also has been casual tension of the strings, totally void of satisfied with the form alone, as being able all concord. by its presence and its absence to effect

p This is implied in the words both generation and dissolution.” Simplic. γίγνεται άπαν έκ τε του υποκειμένου και in Aristot. Phys. lib. i. p. 54. edit. Ald. fol. rîs popoñs : “ that every thing is made or 1526.

produced out of a subject and a figure.” Perhaps Simplicius alludes to what Ari- Arist. Physic. 1. i. c. 7. 19. stotle says in the following passage: 'H “ Figure,” Mopon, means the saine with γε μόρφη και η φύσις διχώς λέγεται και είδος, « form ;» υποκείμενον, * subject,” jap oténois eldós rws dotiv : “ the means the same with ón, “matter.” See terms form and nature have a double the treatise just quoted, particularly tomeaning: for in one sense even privation wards the conclusion of the first book. is form.” Physic. Aristot. I. ii. c. 1.





MATTER is that elementary constituent in composite substances, which appertains in common to them all, without distinguishing them from one another. But it is fitting to be more explicit.

Every thing generated or made, whether by nature or art, is generated or made out of something else ; and this something else is called its subject or matter. Such is iron to the saw; such is timber to the boat.

Now this subject or matter of a thing, being necessarily previous to that thing's existence, is necessarily different from it, and not the same. Thus iron, as iron, is not a saw; and timber, as timber, is not a boat. Hence then one character of every subject or matter, that is, the character of negation or prication.

Again, though the subject or matter of a thing be not that thing, yet were it incapable of becoming so, it could not be called its subject or matter. Thus iron is the subject or matter of a saw, because, though not a saw, it may still become a saw. On the contrary, timber is not the subject or matter of a saw, because it not only (as timber) is no saw, but can never be made one, from its very nature and properties. Hence, then, besides privation, another character of every subject or matter, and that is the character of aptitude or capacity.

Again, when one thing is the subject or matter of many things, it implies a privation of them all, and a capacity to them all.' Thus iron, being the subject or matter of the saw, the axe, and the chisel, implies privation and capacity withi respect to all three.

9 If we compare the beginning of this “This [that is, the form) is characteristic chapter with the beginning of the following, of every being's essence; for as to the it will appear that, though matter and form matter, it is common” (and runs through are the elements, or inherent parts of every all.] composite substance, yet they essentially Ammonius says expressly, 'H uèy gap differ, inasmuch as matter being common, ύλη κοινωνίας έστιν αιτία τοις πράγμασι, form peculiar, form gives every such sub- od de eldos diapopas : Matter, with regard stance its character, while matter gives it to things, is the cause of their general com

munity, or common nature ; form, the cause Thus Philoponus : Kar' autd ydp (od of their peculiar difference.” Ammon. in eldos scil.) xapartmp Covrai tà apáyuara, Cat. p. 25. B. κατά δε την ύλην ουδέν άλλήλων διαφέ- Privation and capacity are essential to povol: “ By form, things are characterized; every thing which bears the name of by matter, they differ not one from another.” matter; and this is the meaning of the folCom. in Physic. Arist. p. 55. D. And soon lowing passage: doti dėl štokeijevov after, Διότι αυτό χαρακτηριστικόν έστι αριθμώ μεν έν, είδει δε δύο : « the subject rss ékdotov půglas yep can, kolví: or matter is one numerically, but in eha


Again, we can change a saw into a chisel, but not into a boat; we can change a boat into a box, but not into a saw. The reason is, there can be no change or mutation of one thing into another, where the two changing beings do not participate the same matter. But even here, were the boat to moulder and turn to earth, and that earth by natural process to metallize and become iron, through such progression as this we might suppose even the boat to become a saw. Hence therefore it is, that all change is by immediate or mediate participation of the same matter.

Having advanced thus far, we must be careful to remember, first, that every subject or matter implies, as such, privation and capacity; and next, that all change or mutation of beings into one another, is by means of their participating the same common matter. This we have chosen to illustrate from works of art, as falling more easily under human cognizance and observation. It is however no less certain as to the productions of nature, though the superior subtlety in these renders examples more difficult.

The question then is, whether in the world which we inhabit, it be not admitted from experience, as well as from the confession of all philosophers, that substances of every kind, whether natural or artificial, either immediately or mediately pass one into another; that we suppose at present no realizings of nonentity, but that reciprocal deaths, dissolutions, and diges

racter it is two;" that is to say, two, as it See p. 263, note i, and note t, p. 269. has a capacity to become a thing, and yet $ This reasoning has reference to what is under a privation, till it actually become the ancients called úrn apogexhs, “ the 80. Aristot. Physic. 1. i. p. 17. And soon immediate matter," in opposition to un after, he says: črepov gàp åv@páru kalapútn, “the remote or primary matter," το αμούση είναι, και τα άσχηματίστω και of which more will be said in the course of xarxQ: “it is a different thing to be a this speculation. man, and to be void of the musical art; it It is of the immediate matter we must is a different thing to be void of figure, and understand the following passage: 'Evde to be brass." As much as if he had said, χεται δε, μιάς της ύλης ούσης έτερα that the man, before he became a musical γίγνεσθαι διά την κινούσαν αιτίαν· οίον εκ artist, had both a capacity for that cha- ξύλου και κιβωτός και κλινή ενίων δε racter, and a privation of it; the brass 4 ετέρα η ύλη εξ ανάγκης, ετέρων όντων. similar capacity and privation, before it οίον πρίων ουκ άν γένοιτο εκ ξύλου, ουδ' was cast into a statue.

επί τη κινούση αιτία τουτο: “ It is possible, Thus too Themistius : Kal Tou Aéyouev that, the matter being one and the same, της ύλης το είναι εν τω δυνάμει η δε δύναμις different things by the efficient cause should Onaovóti metà otephoews: oudè yàpěti be formed out of it; as, for example, that δύναμις είη, μη συν αυτή πάντως και της out of wood should be formed a box and a στερήσεως νοουμένης : « We say the es- bed. But then with regard to some things, sence of matter is in capacity; and capacity which are different, the matter is of necesis evidently connected with privation since sity different also. It is thus, for example, it would no longer be capacity, could pri- that a saw cannot be made out of wood ; vation in no sense be understood, as exist- nor is this a work in the power of the ing with it.” Themist. in Aristot. Physic. efficient cause.” Arist. Metaph. H. Kep. o'. p. 21. edit. Ald.

p. 138. edit. Sylb.

« PreviousContinue »